Voices of Ascension
Dennis Keene, conductor

This long-awaited recording by the foremost interpreter of Maurice Durufle’s music, Dennis Keene, offers not only an unrivalled performance of the beautiful Requiem, but also the first modern orchestral recording of the chant-based Mass. Keene, whom Marie-Madeleine Durufle calls the “perfect intepreter of my husband’s music,” has established his Durufle credentials in his native land as well, in the years following his 1989 Durufle Festival in New York City. Once known and adored only by musicians, the Durufle Requiem has suddenly become a sure-fire concert sellout piece, with its combination of Gregorian Chant and Monet-like Impressionist harmonies. The humble, introverted Maurice Durufle would be totally astonished by the recent upswelling of interest in his Requiem. Perhaps present-day audiences are responding to the way in which Durufle was able to combine the beautiful things of worldly life with spirituality. His music is ultra-accessible and luxurious but balanced with a profoundly spiritual core. From an early age, Durufle was mesmerized by the mystical world of Gregorian chant. At the age of six he became a choirboy at the ancient 12th-century Gothic cathedral in Rouen, where the priests still remembered the artist Claude Monet doing his famous paintings of the cathedral’s facade from across the street a decade before.

Dennis Keene’s Voices of Ascension had their first spectacular recording success with Beyond Chant, Mysteries of the Renaissance (DE 3165); it was followed by Chant to Renaissance (DE 3174). On Heigh-Ho! Mozart (DE 3186) they perform the enchanting “Second Star to the Right in the style of Thomas Tallis.


Maurice Durufle

Requiem, Op. 9 [41:29]
I. Introit (3:42)
II. Kyrie (4:04)
III. Domine Jesu Christe (8:39)
IV. Sanctus (3:31)
V. Pie Jesu (3:50)
VI. Agnus Dei (4:10)
VII. Lux eterna (4:26)
VIII. Libera me (5:41)
IX. In Paradisum (3:26)

Messe “Cum Jubilo,” Op. 11 [18:51]
I. Kyrie (3:10)
II. Gloria (5:35)
III. Sanctus (3:39)
IV. Benedictus (2:13)
V. Agnus Dei (4:14)

Notre Pere (1:29)